Assistant Sports Editor
There is no question that the Springfield College women’s basketball team has struggled in the early goings of this season. Posting a 1-7 record in the opening part of their schedule, the Pride have dropped seven straight games following their season-opening victory against Trinity College. Normally in a situation like this, a coach looks to her seniors and upperclassmen to provide a spark for the team in an attempt to amplify the amount of tallies in the wins column. For head coach Naomi Graves and the Pride, it has been a bit of a different story this season.
First-year players Emily Taylor, Jessie Klauer and Heather Lewis have all received a generous amount of playing time per game in an attempt to allow for them to gain experience on the court and become the players of the future for the program.
“We have some great freshmen,” commented Graves. “Emily Taylor [and] Heather [Lewis] are both impact players, and they’re going to be really good.”
Lewis, a product out of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has been the lead horse of the group, averaging 17.6 minutes a game. The freshman recently vaulted herself into the starting line-up, following an impressive game in a sluggish loss against Smith College. In the game against the Pioneers, Lewis led the way with 16 points.
Klauer, an aspiring physician assistant, has assumed the role of a “guard off the bench” and has been impressive early. Along with Lewis, the best game of her young career took place against Smith. In the contest, Klauer played a season-high 23 minutes, scored four points and gathered three rebounds.
Taylor, a local talent from the other side of the Connecticut River in West Springfield, Mass., has averaged just under 18 minutes a game this season. The first-year Physical Education major has also averaged three points per game.
Although they play a good amount during the games, this trio knows how to push each other and make the team better as a whole.
“We just try to do our best for the seniors,” said Lewis. “Everybody on the team has been really supportive. We are pressuring everybody in practice [and] playing just like it’s a game every single day.”
One of the biggest supporters of the team is freshman forward Emily Gins. Commonly referred to within the team as “Brooklyn” due to her hometown roots, Gins has been the “voice of the team” according to her head coach.
The New York City native is described by Graves as “being able to walk the walk.”
“Most players talk about how good they are, but she does it. For a young person on the team, she has a very strong voice with the players. I hear her constantly on the bench. She’s engaged, she is invested, and she is in it for the long haul,” Graves said.
Gins prides herself on pushing other players in practice. Being behind junior forward Tamara Tribble on the depth chart, “Brooklyn” embraces her role of pushing the starters to become better every day at practice.
After their last game of the semester, a 64-59 loss to Albertus Magnus, the Pride will now head home for winter break in an attempt to recharge and come back fresh. Springfield will resume action on Jan. 1, hosting the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic at Blake Arena.